As you transition to a professional role, one of the first skills that will be put to the test is your ability to manage your workload. No one is going to monitor your progress and remind you of your deadlines, so it is paramount that you take control and set yourself up for success. Here are a few strategies to help you get started:
Carve out time for your “admin” work.
If you dread spending time reading and responding to your emails, you’re not alone. And for some folks, keeping up with the inbox can be a hefty task. Consider blocking out time each day on your calendar solely focused on your email. If you use a work calendar, schedule a half hour each day for “Admin” work—this way, that time is reserved for you, and you can do what you need with it.
Schedule meetings strategically.
Meetings are a regular part of our work schedules, and can be great for collaborating with colleagues, working through team projects, and brainstorming new initiatives. At the same time, too many meetings in one day can clog up our time.
Therefore, when you schedule meetings, be mindful of what else you have going on that day. If you have a large project in the works with a deadline looming, you may want to consider pushing back that meeting if possible, or, keep the meeting scheduled to a max of 30 minutes. Think about the best time of day to have a meeting. If you are naturally more engaged and energetic in the mornings, consider scheduling meetings during the first-half of the day.
Sometimes, there will be those days when you just have meeting after meeting. If you have some control over when these meetings take place, consider scheduling buffers between each meeting. Give yourself at least 15 to 30 minutes in between each meeting to take a break, recharge, and prepare for the next meeting. This will help you stay motivated and prepared.
Use project management platforms.
To actually manage all of the projects you’re juggling, many professionals use various platforms to stay organized, collaborate with others, and create to-do lists.
Managing your workload and holding yourself accountable as a new professional can be daunting at first. Take small steps to create structure for yourself and find a routine that works, allowing you to get the daily admin work done while making progress on those larger projects. And most importantly, reflect on your progress, make changes as needed, and celebrate the wins!